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FUTURE STRATEGIES All national research systems face a common set of challenges, according to the symposium discussions. How nations respond to these challenges will determine in large measure the purposes, priorities, and organization of their research systems in the 21st century. These challenges include: Talent Renewal. The ability of each nation to sustain adequate numbers of talented scientific and engineering personnel is of paramount importance. Within some nations, a declining college-age population generates pressures to increase student interest in science and engineering. The growing ethnic diversity of some national populations generates pressures to broaden participation in scientific and technological research careers. Rapid Adaptation. As more nations develop research capacity, rapid adaptability becomes crucial to success in scientific research. Each nation will be increasingly pressured to adjust its research priorities and programs to reflect dynamic worldwide changes in scientific fields. Open Communication. Within the new global information environment, the unimpeded flow of scientific information will be crucial to maintaining an accelerated pace in the advancement of scientific fields. National political or economic policies that restrict such information flow will reduce that nation's ability to compete scientifically. University Autonomy. As cooperative, applied research activity increases among university, industrial, and governmental laboratories, the continued ability of university-based investigators to explore "non-directed" research avenues becomes ever more important to scientific advancement. Economic Relevance. As world economic competition intensifies, pressures mount to integrate research policies and priorities within broader national economic strategies. While competitive strategies may result in greater financial resources for research, these strategies may also include restrictive national collaborative research efforts among national industries, universities, and governments, as well as selective delays or prohibitions on the international dissemination of commercially strategic scientific information. Problem Application. All nations are confronted with urgent social, health, and environmental problems. To the extent that scientific and technological research programs contribute to the solution of these problems, public support for research will continue. The expansion of research for problem-solving will most likely promote larger-scale and more multidisciplinary research organizations. Strategic Investment. With the growing costs of research and the shifting balance of international economic and scientific strength, the ability of any one nation to maintain preeminence in all research fields is doubtful. In the future, nations may have to target for preeminence those research areas in which they have a vital strategic interest or comparative advantage, pursue collaborative international research relationships in selected fields, and import from abroad the frontier scientific or technological knowledge developed within remaining fields. 9